money & happiness

Wanting what you’ve got

We talk to a lot of people about their aspirations and what they consider a secure nest egg.  What is “enough” for one is inadequate for another.  The differing perceptions of “enough” remind me of the lyrics to a Sheryl Crow song:  It’s not [about] having what you want; it’s [about] wanting what you’ve got. 

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – May 5, 2015

Last week the Federal Reserve scaled back its view of prospects for the U.S. economy and labor market.  Reuters discusses the timing of when interest rates will go higher.  Many of our clients have been burned by the brokerage industry.  The CFA Institute advocates for Department of Labor proposals to broaden the sweep of individuals

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – April 22, 2015

This week, a few things especially caught our attention.  International diversification is starting to reward investors again after a considerable period when a blend of U.S. Stocks and bonds outperformed relative to most other asset allocations.  Inflation is starting to accelerate a bit, which contributed to a sell-off one day last week.  We also noted

Preparing to retire in a low-return environment

Intriguing subject matter relating to retirement was the topic of several sessions at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference held January 19-21, 2015.  This week we share some of the conference’s golden nuggets and more. Retiring in a Low-Return Environment.   Investment returns and retirement spending have been based on information drawn from the past. 

Life Satisfaction in Retirement

Intriguing subject matter relating to retirement was the topic of several sessions at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference held January 19-21, 2015.  This week we share some of the conference’s golden nuggets. What makes for a Satisfying Retirement?  Although money matters, planning for a lifestyle can be equally important in order to get

Lessons our clients have taught us

Nearly every day keeps us busy dealing with interesting issues for wonderful clients.  Often we are involved in critical and emotional issues at life intersections.  Along the way clients teach us (in a good sort of way).  Some of those lessons are the subject of this week’s blog. Family grief can reveal unexpected surprises by

Hard career choices

Hard career choices have been a recurring theme this year in consultations with clients.  We should say anguishing career choices, because these forks-in-the-road involve significant personal trade-offs, and the stakes are high.  This week we offer practical input for high achievers making hard career choices. Must Success Cost So Much?  Many high achievers find success

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – July 23, 2014

This week we examine tools and techniques for more peace of mind in retirement.  It is a companion to last week’s blog addressing some of the reasons retirees can run out of money. Retirement Account Participants Can Purchase Longevity Annuities. Under the new rules issued by the IRS, those with IRAs or 401(k) plans will be allowed to